More than 500 Quebec households are homeless following Moving Day, housing group says
A day after Moving Day in Quebec, more than 500 tenant households in the province are homeless – the highest figure in 20 years.
The social housing group Popular action front in urban redevelopment (FRAPRU) released the data in its annual report on Friday, with spokeswoman Véronique Laflamme calling the picture of the housing situation today “somewhat vague.”
According to recent data collected from municipal assistance services, the breakdown of homeless individuals or families is:
FRAPRU said the numbers are likely to be even higher. Tenants living in areas where there are no municipal support services are not counted, or those who decide to govern themselves.
Laflamme said having housing is only part of the problem. Rent increases are another hurdle, as witnessed in Montreal.
“The unoccupied housing rate is 3.2 percent in the city of Montreal, which is more than the break-even point. However, at least 554 household tenants called the municipal housing office’s referral service this year,” he said. said Laflamme. “This situation speaks volumes about the depth of the crisis.”
Even those who saw the house had a hard time. FRAPRU said thousands of households will have to cut other essentials just to pay rent.
The group said things could have gotten worse if the provincial government had not acted immediately.
FRAPRU is calling for more investment in AccessLogis program, the launch of an extensive project of 50,000 social housing units over five years, and better protection for household tenants against eviction, re -acquisition of positions and excessive rent increases.
Meanwhile, the group welcomes improvements made to emergency aid programs in the province, specifically the service in Montreal that offers temporary shelter and provides storage and relocation assistance.
The group also said that while the Quebec government appreciates improving its services, measures to help tenants have been announced too late to be set up adequately in towns where they do not yet exist.
More than 6,600 housing units have been built or are still under construction
Quebec’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing said the government is working to increase the supply of housing in all regions of the province. The process included unveiling a new version of the AccèsLogis program to make it more efficient and build 15,000 social housing units.
“Under our government, in just two years, we have invested more than $ 730 million and more than 6,600 housing units have been built or underway,” said Bénédicte Trottier Lavoie, spokesman for the ministry at an air emailed statement to CBC Montreal.
In relation to “renovations” – a term used by housing advocates to describe eviction of tenants in the name of renovations, Lavoie said a tenant cannot be permanently evicted for simple renovations.
But for people like Camille Boyes-Manseau, who was given the option to move for eight months while her apartment underwent renovations in July, she found it easier to move permanently than wait.
But he said finding his new apartment in Verdun was no easy task.
“It took some time for sure,” Boyes-Manseau said. He described the process as spending every spare minute on different sites, reviewing posts and responding to ads.
Finding a place within your budget is more difficult, he said. “You can still find rare gems that work but it’s not as easy as it used to be. It’s definitely stressful.”
‘We’re doing everything we can’
In Montreal, groups in “all boroughs” are actively helping people without leases, with 33 households in temporary housing, according to Craig Sauvé, city councilor for the Southwest borough and associate councilor for housing of the executive committee.
The city has also reserved 50 apartment units to help people find permanent accommodation and people can call 311 if they need help finding a place to move.
The staff helps tenants find accommodation by keeping apartment listings, making apartment visits to tenants and talking to property owners on their behalf.
“Our plan from the beginning was not to let anyone get stuck without a place to go and make sure they were taken care of,” said Sauvé, who said the long-term solution to the housing crisis was more affordable housing, which requires provincial spending.
“We’re doing everything we can.”